Baffling fish kill: Fisherman Zhahiran Sabu showing the dead fish found in Sungai Bayan Lepas. Photo: Chan Boon Kai
Malaysia: Probe into mystery of mass fish deaths
14th July 2015;
The Department of Environment has launched an investigation into the mass fish deaths in Sungai Bayan Lepas.
Various officers from the department were seen collecting water samples at the site yesterday for testing. The result of the test is expected to be out in two weeks.
Consumers Association of Penang president S.M. Mohamed Idris said various fish species were found dead in the river on Sunday.
“The fish are Mullet (belanak) (F. Mugilidae), gelama (Croaker) (F. Sciaenidae) and duri (Sea Catfish) (F. Ariidae).”
“We were told by the affected fishermen that the river water is frequently black and oily.”
“The pollution spreads from the river to the sea, endangering the fish and prawns which form the fishermen’s catch,” he said in a press statement.
Malaysian Nature Society Penang branch adviser D. Kanda Kumar said the cause of the fish deaths could not be the hot weather.
“If it is the hot weather, then every river in the state will be effected as well.
"It has to be due to some human activity taking place upstream that is polluting the river,” he said when contacted.
He advised residents nearby to contact the authorities if they see any illegal discharge of waste into the river.
Penang Gerakan Youth secretary Ooi Zhi Yi urged the government to take stern action against the culprits.
“This is the fourth fish death case within a short period after Sungai Kerian in Nibong Tebal, Sungai Tasek Cempedak in Seberang Prai Selatan and Sungai Dondang in Paya Terubong,” Ooi said in a statement.
State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said they would do a survey of the area to identify the possible cause while waiting for the lab results.
Those with any information can contact the Penang Island City council at 04-2637637 or the Seberang Prai Municipal Council at 04-5372658.
Source: The Star